Brewelist Advent Calendar 2016 – Day 1 – Gifting Glassware

Welcome to day 1 of the Brewelist Advent Calendar. Over the next 25 days we’ll bring you some gift ideas, gadgets or seasonal brews to help you make it through the Holiday season.

Today, we discuss that thing that you seem to have a ton of in your cabinets or habitually break. Both apply in my household.

I’m talking glassware. Have a friend or family member who lives far far away and may never taste the simple pleasures that come with the beers from your favorite watering hole? Have someone locally that you need to buy for and know they are a HUGE fan of a local place, sports team or game franchise?

Well, there’s probably a glass for that. I’m serious.

Despite multiplying inexplicably in your home, they’re really inexpensive and easy to get. The drawback is that they can be a pain to package and ship, but not really if you’re diligent with bubble wrap or package filler (pro-tip, plastic grocery bags can work nicely here…if you happen to have a huge stock of those also). You can also DIY a set with whatever you want if you’re crafty enough.

This time of year you can also find yourself a relatively inexpensive gift set of various types of glassware to accommodate IPAs, Lagers, Pilsners or Stouts for the person on your list who is trying to get into glassware, or is really picky about what they drink theirs out of.

Added bonus? They don’t even have to drink beer out of them. These vessels don’t discriminate and will happily accept milk, juice, soda (or pop) or whatever liquid joy your heart desires.

I personally love receiving a thoughtfully selected pint glass or shot glass from the magical places my friends and family visit. I’m also known to pick one up as I travel to remember the awesome places I’ve been or the events that I don’t want to forget.

Almost EVERY brewery you visit will have some form of glass that you can get really cheaply. The places I’ve been typically have them for $5 or less, maybe a little more if they’re a fancy goblet or huge stein, but overall, so inexpensive you could easily use them for a Secret Santa or an extra special something to put homemade snacks, tiny gifts or a gift card to the place that you got them from (so they can get a growler of something to enjoy out of it!).

 

If you’re keen to get them something of the gaming persuasion, actual online stores can provide options, like the Bioware Shop, Gearbox Shop or Bethesda Store. ThinkGeek.com can also be a great source for these things if you need a lot of different stuff for a lot of different people. Also, Etsy.com can give you an even wider variety and the possibility to commission a custom piece, but may run you more for the artisan’s time and may have a much longer lead time.

Brewelist Advent Calendar Day 25: DuClaw Brewing Company Sweet Baby Jesus

Here we are, on the final day of the Brewelist Advent Calendar! It’s been a full twenty-five days of games, beer and sharing, which is what the season is all about.

The beer that inspired this entire project is about to be reviewed – Sweet Baby Jesus from DuClaw Brewing Company. So steal a few seconds, grab a cold one and read on.

Where to find it: Mid Atlantic Region Supermarkets, Beer Shops, Gas Stations, etc.

ABV: 6.2%

Style: Porter

Availability: Year-Round

Taste/Smell: The beer smells and tastes like dark chocolate. If you remember the dark chocolate Reese’s cups, that’s pretty much what it’s like. The beer is thick and dark and offers both flavors without being sweet at all. You may be left with some bitter notes but they do not detract from the overall flavor.

Rating (out of 10): 9/10

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year from the Brewelist Crew!

Brewelist Advent Calendar Day 21: Kona Brewing Company Pipeline Porter

Beer: Pipeline Porter

Brewery Name/Location: Kona Brewing Company, Hawaii

ABV: 5.3%

Style: Porter

Where to find: Beers of The World, Wegmans

Taste/Smell: Rich Earth flavor, with a light coffee scent.

Thoughts: When my company sent me on a day trip to California I found a brewing company called Kona Brewing Company and had some of the most amazing beer I have ever had with Koko Brown. I hunted and hunted for it in Rochester with no luck before finding Kona’s Longboard Lager which was a good beer from this company. Viewing Kona’s selection this winter I was excited to find they brought a new beer to the Rochester area, the Pipeline Porter. This may be the best beer from Kona yet, made using coffee beans from Kona Coffee, which may be the best coffee bean out there. The coffee flavor is quite strong and earth, but really makes this beer a great porter from the Kona Brewing Company. One things for sure, Hawaii sure knows how to do drinks right, so take some time to grab a 6 pack and your longboard, and go ride the pipeline.

Rating (out of 10): 9/10

 

By: Jake Duell, @snakesbeard

Brewelist Advent Calendar Day 13: Journey

I have never used the term ‘existential puzzler’ to describe a game, but that’s just what Journey is. It’s an experience in gaming that I will never forget and I can’t talk enough about how amazing it is. I’ll give you the advice that was given to me when I went to play it: Turn off the lights,

Publisher: Thatgamecompany

Genre: Puzzler

Where to get it: Playstation Network

Platform: Playstation 3/4

Brewelist Advent Calendar Day 17: Rocket League

I’m not usually a sports game player. I have never owned a Madden or NBA 2K game. I believe outside of Tecmo Superbowl and the Mutant League series, I don’t have any vast knowledge of that genre in gaming. All of that being said, I had heard the hype surrounding Rocket League and I knew that I had to play this game. It looked like a ton of fun in the videos and with the port to PS4, I tried it out. Let me just say, that I was instantly addicted and couldn’t stop playing. The colors are bright and vibrant, the gameplay is fast and furious, and the fun-factor is through the roof. Psyonix is constantly adding more features and DLC to the game. They recently even added the DELOREAN from Back to the Future!

Get this game for yourself, get it for your friends and family, and pair it with anything brew keeps you excited and happy!

Publisher: Psyonix Games

Genre: Sports!

Where to get it: Steam, Playstation Network, soon coming to Xbox One

Platform: PC/Mac, PS4

Rating (out of 10): 10/10

Brewelist Advent Calendar Day 15: Uinta Yard Sale Winter Lager

Beer: Yard Sale

Brewery Name/Location: Uinta Brewing, Salt Lake City, UT

ABV: 4%

Style: Winter Lager

Where to find: Beers of The World, Wegmans

Taste/Smell: Light hints of winter flavors like vanilla and caramel in both taste and smell.

Thoughts: After fall comes the winter beers which may be even better than the fall beers. Usually I like my beers dark, closer to stouts. However being an amber lager this beer falls into the darker category of lagers. This is a delicious beer that paired very well with my pasta and meatballs, and I have also had it with steak and potatoes. I could very easily see myself downing a six pack in front of a fire on a cold snowy day. According to Uinta’s website the term Yard Sale is when you fall off your skis and all your gear falls all over the mountain. So this winter take a chance to fall down the mountain and take a sip of the Yard Sale.

Rating (out of 10): 9/10

Submitted by Jake Duell

Brewelist Advent Calendar Day 14: Shmaltz Brewing Company – He’Brew Messiah Nut Brown Ale

messiah-bottle-and-label

Not to leave out our friends who are celebrating Hanukkah at this time of year, I picked up a Shmaltz Brewing Company He’Brew Messiah Nut Brown Ale.

At 5.2%, it’s a beer that’s good for socializing. It tastes like a brown ale, nothing fancy. It feels fairly thick on the tongue and pours a caramel brown color.

It’s also Kosher certified.

Where to find it: Supermarkets, Beer Shops

ABV: 5.2%

Style: Brown Ale

Availability: Rotating

Taste/Smell: Tastes like a brown beer. Smooth, not too hoppy. Slight notes of nut flavor and pours a caramel brown.

Rating (out of 10): 8/10

Brewelist Advent Calendar Day 11: Extreme Exorcism

I’ve always been a fan of Platforming games. Give me a Mario Bros. any day of the week and I’ll play it all day long. The new ones hearken back to a simpiler time in agaming, and if it’s done right, the nostalgia and gameplay can be a win/win. This is the case in Golden Ruby Games‘, Extreme Exorcism. You choose a character and a level, and then go around bashing/shooting/womping ghosts through a series of levels and try not to die too many times. Not an advanced concept by any means, but it doesn’t have to be. The graphics are simplistic and 8-bit. The music is chiptune-y and eerie. The biggest plus though? My fiancee wanted to play along with me and didn’t get discouraged when she died. Four people can play it at once, and that’s where the biggest points go to the game.

Teamwork makes the dream work they say, and it also keeps the ghosts away!

Publisher: Golden Ruby Games

Genre: Action Platformer

Where to get it: Steam, Playstation Network

Platform: PC/Mac, PS4/PS3

Rating (out of 10): 8/10

Brewelist Advent Calendar Day 10: Three Heads Brewing Bromigo Smoked Maple Amber Ale

I was excited to taste the Bromigo Smoked Maple Amber Ale because who doesn’t like the combination of Maple Syrup and Bacon? It’s the perfect breakfast blend, and even though I was drinking this in the evening; breakfast for dinner is one of the best things ever. I was warned at the bar that I wasn’t going to like it, and they were absolutely right. I usually am a fan of the stuff that Three Heads Brewing puts out, but I could not get into this beer. Maybe my expectations for ‘breakfast in a glass’ were a bit high, but I was very let down. Putting a piece of bacon in this drink would definitely help, but it wouldn’t revolutionize the drink.

Where to Find it:  Three Heads Brewing Company, Honeoye Falls, NY

ABV: 7%

Style: Smoked Beer

Availability: Seasonal

Taste/Smell: Smells like smoked maple syrup. It tastes like bacon, if it were very bitter. It lingers with a hint of smokiness, not leaving the tongue for a while.

Rating (out of 10): 6/10

Brewelist Advent Calendar Day 8: Troegs Independent Brewing Mad Elf Ale

Where to find it: They distribute in the following states: CT, DC, DE, MA, MD, NC , NJ, NY, OH, PA and VA. Locally Wegmans usually carries this.

ABV: 11%

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Availability: seasonally in the winter

Taste/Smell: Belgian yeast smell (it’s a very specific smell). Also hints of cherry/sweetness. Taste is a punch on the tongue of flavor. Lots of Belgian candied malts, a hint of honey and a good amount of cherry flavor (but this isn’t sweet by any means)

Pairing: Be sure to pair this brew with Viscera Cleanup Detail: Santa’s Rampage. Find it HERE.

Rating (out of 10): 10 out of 10 but be warned – it is 11% so only take this out if your family is getting hard to deal with this holiday season!

Troegs Mad Elf Ale

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